We have Thatsnought Hewmore to thank/blame for today’s strip. Because HE demanded it! And true to his word, Pete didn’t write a crossover until Atomik Komix had more than four titles… they’ve had FIVE since the addition of Wayback Wendy.
The Comics Code Authority is not exactly the heaviest of punching bags in 2020… but it’s an especially odd one for Atomik Komix. This is a company founded on replicating Batom Comics and its Silver Age shlock in every possible detail… Chester hates that non-CCA guided new stuff. Batom Comics is said to have existed pretty much entirely in the CCA era and all of its titles would have adhered to the CCA’s guidelines. Go look at the Batom Comic covers that appeared every other Sunday before Atomik Komix happened, they’ve all got the CCA stamp.
That ends my latest stint writing this pap up. My honest apologies for not noting Son Of Stuck Funky’s 10th anniversary on April 9. I was and am quite honored to have been blogging when this site moved from its first decade into its second. Our esteemed founder, TFH, takes the helm for tomorrow’s certain tire fire and many thanks to him for launching this ship and picking up the survivors of the original Stuck Funky site. This site has picked up so many more folks over the years and has become one of the internet communities I value most. It has survived cease-and-desist letters, Comics Kingdom’s ever-changing strip link addresses, and TB’s best efforts to drive us to madness. I say “here’s to another decade”, because I cannot face whatever this strip has in store next without you all.
17 responses to “Woo goo away, please!”
This isn’t the worst Sunday comic book cover ever but that said, it’d have been way better without the sub-moronic reality bubble featuring Boy Lisa’s dimwitted exchange with his dimbulb wife. If that doesn’t make you sick you’re just not human.
There’s a post on his blog about the genesis of Act II, a development that led to all sorts of zaniness, some of which still, uh, resonates today, I guess. It’s really more of a light barely perceptible vibration, but nonetheless. FW had already gotten all stupid and preachy before Act II, of course, but Act II was when it really took off with the cast of thousands and the unbelievable melodrama.
A Batiuk character who can be dumbed down? Now that is incredible!
Call Fran Tarkington and Sarah Purcell!
So the Inedible Pulp arose from waterlogged superhero comics, created by the same people who refused to hire Batiuk. It’s the burn that puts itself out!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If the Comics Code could prevent comics like this from happening then I would support it whole-heartedly.
I don’t even really care about the strip and didn’t follow it before I discovered this site when TFH did it solo, but snark like yours keeps me coming back, billytheskink.
You are welcome, though you can blame me instead of thank me if you feel so inclined.
“Because We Demanded It!”?
Just from this line, you can see why no comic book company would hire Tom Batiuk. Okay, on top of all the other reasons. He doesn’t want to make comic books. He wants to dictate how comic books should be made. I can just imagine this guy on a creative team, refusing to do what he’s assigned because it’s “wrong.”
This Sunday strip is actually the perfect capper to the week’s story. They both have the same theme: an artist demanding respect, while showing through his own behavior that he doesn’t deserve respect. “Batton” made zero effort to engage the class, or even prepare any remarks. Batiuk wants to tell the comic world he knows better than they do, but this stupid disaster shows that DC and Marvel were right not to hire him.
Well we know he doesn’t want to make comic books. In these days of self publishing, he could easily start his own company. But nah, too much work.
Every day we see that he cannot tell an interesting story, cannot develop and good characters, heck, even his artwork sucks.
Probably better that he keep his money.
The irritating thing about his narrow focus on the stupid things that appeal to him is that he can’t even see the real story: what’s happening to the kids. We get hints that Les’s ineptitude as a parent has made Summer into a slacker but that’s about all we get.
“With powers derived from soggy super hero comics”? I know that superhero origin stories require some suspension of disbelief, but to accept this premise TomBa either expects the reader to engage in magical thinking like a five year old or to (and, although the cover art practically screams this, his stated opinion regarding the ‘60s Batman series makes it unlikely) assume The Incredible Pulp is a satirical comic.
Yeah, the whole concept of the Inedible Pulp screams parody, It’s not something that would be realistically presented in a serious super hero comic book. Of course, maybe that’s TB’s intention.
And congratulations on ten years of SoSF! I’ve been coming here since shortly after the beginning. I followed a link from the Funky Winkerbean TV Tropes page (talk about a rabbit hole) that I started reading after getting enraged by the Lisa-phones-in-a-bomb-threat-from-beyond-the-grave arc. I’ve not been a big Funky-phile over my life. I had read it whenever I had access to a newspaper that included it in the comics pages, so I missed large gaps, but then in the mid-late 2000s when King Features started publishing their strips online I started reading it again. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed following SoSF and appreciate the enormous effort that TFH and the rest of the crew have put into this. It’s truly the only thing that makes FW worth reading.
Tom Batiuk’s attempts at satire and parody simply don’t work. There are several reasons why:
1. Batiuk has no point. The aluminum Christmas trees in Charlie Brown Christmas symbolized how people focused on the wrong things at Christmas, and had lost sight of its true meaning. This worked so well that it killed the product. After that special aired, the world stopped using aluminum Christmas trees. And the satire still works; they can stand in for any Christmas distraction.
2. When Batiuk has a point, it’s misguided. Again, the “Because We Demanded It!” line at the top. Clearly he is trying to make fun of comic publishers’ tendency to create fan-demanded stories. Because… pleasing customers is bad?
3. Batiuk satirizes things that are already satirical, in ways that miss the point of the original. The Inedible Pulp is intended to mock silly, implausible superhero origin stories. But… superhero original stories are already silly and implausible. Everyone knows this. There’s nothing to make fun of. Batiuk is basically the guy telling you that pro wrestling is fake. We know, thanks.
4. Batiuk doesn’t just miss the point of the original, he completely loses it. When Calvin pretends to be Stupendous Man, he has a mild-mannered alter ago, wears his underwear on the outside, and has an analog to kryptonite that weakens him. The story incorporates aspects of what it is satirizing. All of this is brought into Calvin’s imaginative play, and also into the real world his parents inhabit. The Inedible Pulp discards everything that’s interesting about The Hulk. Like, why would a sentient pile of comic books get angry? How would you calm it down? That could be funny! But it’s never explored.
5. Batiuk is mean-spirited. Compare Bloom County. That strip viciously made fun of real people, from Cathy Guisewite to Caspar Weinberger. But many of them enjoyed it. Look at early Bill The Cat strips (easy to find online). The character was originally conceived as a satire of Garfield’s commercial nature, and boy howdy, it is. But it’s done in a playful way, doesn’t take any cheap shots, and pokes as much fun at itself. Everything Batiuk does has an overbearing, preachy, condescending tone.
6. Batiuk is spectacularly petty. Schulz, Watterson, Breathed, and I’ll add Gary Larson here, were all satirizing important things. The Far Side‘s best moments were mixing human and animal behavior. “The Arnolds feign death until the Wagners, sensing the sudden awkwardness, are compelled to leave.” Some animals play dead to escape predators, and wouldn’t that be a useful skill in social situations? He’s satirizing human behavior, at its most fundamental levels. The point of all Tom Batiuk’s satire is something about comic book publishing. Who the hell cares?
I mean, a superhero whose power is derived from pulpy superhero comics is … a very metatextual idea, and it’s begging to be a parody or at least a humorous premise. It seems like it would have to depend on the writer and the readers understanding superhero conventions very well so that they can be played against.
I can imagine it being played straight, most likely for a study about what superhero comics mean, and why they’re a thing anyone cares about. I could imagine (say) Grant Morrison doing this spectacularly well. I expect that Boy Lisa and Mopey Pete would not do nearly as good a job, but “that someone else would do this premise better” is not sufficient reason not to try. Morrison, after all, didn’t start out as Morrison either. He put in a lot of work that I’m sure Mopey Pete particularly will do, too.
There is something weird that all the Atomik Comix books, except for Wayback Wendy, make more sense as affectionate spoofs of a style of comics instead of attempts to carry on that style.
Funny how the Simpsons can throw together a show quickly…they are already doing jokes on social distancing…but Batty can’t bother to throw in a timely and fresh strip.
Doh, forgot to attach the clip.
Please, don’t let next week consist of Les Moore haranguing his students on the importance of newspaper comics and castigating them for their rudeness to a living legend. Just don’t. Who wants to spend a week finding clever ways to say “You should have told the class all this before Beatoff Thomas appeared”?